The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, known as ISIF, has announced plans to step up its regional investments.
The fund, which is part of the National Treasury Management Agency, has a mandate to invest on a commercial basis to support economic activity and jobs.
A new €500m investment programme will target the five regional cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kikenny.
ISIF said the focus of the new strategy will be on long-term transformational investments that address key strategic challenges facing the country.
It said these include climate action, housing and enabling infrastructure.
The strategy will also help start up businesses to scale up, with the aim to enable more Irish companies reach the €1 billion 'unicorn’ valuation within five years.
"Our new strategy shows just how flexible and adaptable ISIF can be in targeting its resources in the most effective manner possible to support economic activity and employment in Ireland, by addressing the critical challenges facing the state through transformational investments," said Nick Ashmore, Director of ISIF.
"We are planning a material step-up in our regional investments with a new initiative to unlock the economic potential of our five regional cities by backing transformational projects in each," he added.
Mr Ashmore said the programme will generate economic benefits, support employment and make Ireland a more sustainable, competitive place for people to live and for the employers who can create jobs for them.
We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
"Our new strategy sets out a range of investment programmes that will back scaling-up businesses; deliver additional housing to build on our progress to date; and underpin the ambition displayed in our domestic food and agri sector, which has become a true global success story," he said.
Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe welcomed the launch of ISIF's new Investment strategy and its focus on climate action, housing, scaling indigenous businesses, and food and agriculture.
"I am greatly reassured by the fact that ISIF retains the flexibility to invest outside of those four themes, if necessary, using a new pool allocated to National & Compelling investments, dedicated to unforeseen macroeconomic events such as the shock triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic," Minister Donohoe said in a statement.
"Having this flexibility allows the Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund (PSRF), established in response to the pandemic, to be wound down.
"I am also very pleased to see that a cornerstone of the strategy is a €500 million city-specific investment programme to unlock the full economic potential of Ireland’s 5 regional cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny," he added.